JEFFERSON — Fifteen Ashe County High School students were approved for early graduation by the Ashe County Board of Education during its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.
Pending outstanding classes, the following fifteen students will fulfill their graduation requirements at the end of this fall semester: Tyler Barnes, Natalie Blackburn, Steven Blowers, Dekoda Dillard, Travis Dillard, Taylor Domangue, Fath Gobah, Brandon Ham, Brooke Hicks, Hunter Hogg, Farren Phillips, Megan Pritchard, Savannah Pruitt, Angel Turnmire and Seth Welch.
“I want to graduate early because I’m just ready to move on,” Tyler Barnes said when asked by the board why he requested an early graduation.
Also receiving recognition at the ACS board meeting was Ashe County Middle School art teacher Jill Gambill, who was awarded her certificate as the North Carolina Art Education Association Middle Level Art Education Teacher of the Year for the 2018-19 school year.
The Husky Vanguard Marching Band was also recognized for its superior ratings during the competition season.
The board approved Ashe County High School’s Rho Kappa club making its annual overnight trip to visit Washington, D.C. from March 21-23, 2019.
Furthermore, the board approved the 2018-19 local articulation agreement between ACS and Wilkes Community College for dual-enrollment accreditation. The board also approved applying for a six-year, $700,000 grant to be used for beginning teacher support, if awarded.
ACS Maintenance Director Jerry Baker provided an update on the new athletic field at ACHS, and Ashe Early College Principal Elaine Cox thanked the board for being at her school’s ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 26.
Being satisfied with changes made to the revised tardy policy provided last month by Director of Student Services Jamie Little, the board unanimously voted to approve the new procedures.
ACS Superintendent Phyllis Yates commented on parent-teacher conference attendance across Ashe’s schools, as well as the ACS School Security Committee Meeting held Oct. 30 — the committee’s first meeting of the school year — during which new members provided input, ACS student resource officers spoke about different safety protocols and concerns at the different schools and principals went over new safety installments that had been added over the summer.
Additionally, Yates and the board deliberated over dates for the new board member training session after the 2018 midterm election, eventually deciding on Tuesday or Thursday the week of Dec. 10. Yates also assigned the board members to visit schools for American Education Week between Nov. 12-16.
The board announced several Veterans Day programs across its schools between Nov. 7 and 9, as well as Nov. 22 and 23 as Thanksgiving holiday, with early release on Nov. 21.
The next regular meeting of the Ashe County Board of Education will be in the Central Office Annex at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3.